I shared this post first in March 2018 but it is so delicious here you have it again 🙂
Ever heard of Carrot Wine or Carrot Whiskey?
Well, the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson Voice) in the World and I haven’t either until late 2016. Even though both of us are working, money has always been tight and when Brexit meant that everything got more expensive we had to put our thinking caps on.
The best husband had made wine before because he has a knack and interest in foraging and homemade produce of all sorts. Mostly he had made Elderflower or Elderberry wine, however, both are only available in certain months. So he was looking into other recipes and carrot wine tickled his fancy.
I better warn you at this point: There is a reason why Carrot Wine is also called Carrot Whiskey. Even though it is made like wine it tastes rather like whiskey, not wine. So if you are not into strong tastes this one is not for you.
Equipment needed for wine making
So what equipment do you need if you want to create homemade wine? First of all, you need a winemaking bucket to ferment your chosen winemaking products. You need a muslin cloth to syph the liquid, demijohns to let the wine rest, bubbler stops, a Syphon tube and a racking cane. And a big pot to heat the liquid.
The best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world got his equipment from Balliihoo via eBay. They are specialists in homebrewing and beermaking and offer starter kits with some extras to choose from. However, there are many more to get your stuff from online.
What else do you need?
You need wine making yeast. No, it’s not your average baking yeast even though it does look similar to dried yeast. At eHow Christine Lehman explains “…Wine yeasts can tolerate high alcohol levels and can survive in 18 percent alcohol. On the other hand, baking yeast can only survive in alcohol levels up to 14 percent, so using baking yeast in winemaking will result in a weakly alcoholic but sweet wine. Many wine yeasts do not do well under high temperatures, and they may be killed during the baking process. It is best to stick with active yeast when baking…”
Luis Pasteur discovered how yeast cells work in the mid 19th century but it needed about another 100 years until the process was fully understood. Yeast is a synonym for a multitude of microorganism which are classified as fungi. The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the one used in baking and winemaking while you might also know Candida albicans. The latter one is an opportunistic pathogen and can cause infections in humans.
So what does yeast do? It changes sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide through fermentation. That’s how you get the alcohol into the wine.
How to make carrot wine
And I show you now what you need to do to get the yeast going with carrots. The best husband (Jeremy Clarkson Voice) in the world uses the recipe by LowCostLiving which he has tweaked a little and you can find the link at the end of this post in the resources.
1. Peeling and chopping carrots
The first and probably most mundane task in the process of carrot winemaking is cleaning, peeling and chopping the carrots. Peeling the carrots is only necessary if the skins are not nice. You can as well just scrub them.
And here comes the tweak the best husband in the world has developed. He adds a piece of ginger too which gives the carrot wine a little spiciness. He has also experimented with cinnamon which makes it more exotic and goes well with the ginger.
So far he has peeled the ginger too, however, Jamie Oliver doesn’t peel ginger when he uses it in his recipes so we concluded that it is not necessary here either.
LowCostLiving’s recipe states to chop the carrots rather thinly. The best husband uses one of our kitchen machines to slice them and leaves those as they are.
2. Boiling Carrots & ginger
As soon as I realised that the husband is really into the carrot winemaking and that he doubles the recipe to get two gallons (about 9 L) of wine I gave him a 10L pot for boiling the carrots. This gives about 10 to 11 bottles of wine.
He puts the pot with water on the hob and then adds the carrots and brings them to the boil. It boils until the carrots are soft.
3. Preparing winemaking bucket
Many winemaking pages and recipes state that you need a bunch of chemicals to sanitize and clean your winemaking equipment. We are not particular fans of using chemicals so the best husband in the world has experimented with cleaning without.
In his experience “clean as you go” and boiling water is the best way to stay safe. So he washes every piece of equipment directly after use and then put it either in boiling water or uses boiling water to rinse. However, if you do not trust this technique I have added an article by the Winemaking Magazine in the resources which explains other techniques.
To get the yeast and carrots going he adds a couple of ingredients: Sugar, raisins and zest of lemons and oranges. He keeps the juice for later.
Then he prepares the winemaking bucket with the muslin.
4. Pouring boiled carrots into winemaking bucket
He puts it over the bucket and keeps it in place with a huge rubber band. Then he pours the boiled carrots in and my goodness am I impressed when he does it. Nearly 10L of water and 8lbs of carrots are quite heavy and it is a bit of a feat to get them in.
I would suggest you use some Marigolds when doing this as you have to get the hot carrots inclusive the muslin off after the pouring. Then stir the whole concoction.
5. Adding Orange- & lemon juice and Yeast
After it has cooled down he adds the juice of all the lemons and oranges of which he has taken the zest. Carrots are naturally sweet with no acid. The zest and juice of the lemons and oranges are added to counter that. He now has to “activate” the yeast: He dips a jug into the carrot juice and adds the winemaking yeast to the jug. That needs resting until the yeast starts frothing usually in about 10 to 15 minutes. Add it to the bucket and then leave the bucket in a warm place for a week.
There are a couple of more steps to go from putting the wine into demijohns, “racking” the demijohns and putting the wine into bottles. But I will do another post for that.
“Accept what life offers you
and try to drink from every cup.
All wines should be tasted;
some should only be sipped,
but with others, drink the whole bottle.”
― Paulo Coelho,
[Tweet ““Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” ― Paulo Coelho, Brida”]
Here for now the original recipe from LowCostLiving:
Carrot Wine Recipe
Ingredients for Carrot Wine Recipe:
- 4 lbs of carrots
- 2 to 2½ lbs demerara sugar
- 2 lemons
- 2 oranges
- ½ lb pale raisins
- yeast and yeast nutrient
Method for Carrot Wine Recipe:
- Scrub the carrots and slice fairly thinly then roughly chop.
- Boil 1 gallon of water and then add the carrots. Bring back to the boil and then simmer until tender, roughly 15 minutes. The water will have taken a fair colour.
- Using a large pan or a brewing bin, strain onto the sugar, raisins and thinly peeled rind of the oranges and lemons. Mix well.
- Allow to cool until lukewarm and add the lemon and orange juice, yeast and yeast nutrient.
- Stir well and leave to ferment in a warm place for at least a week – covered to keep flies and wild yeasts off.
- Strain into a demijohn and add a fermentation lock.
- Strain and rack when the wines clears, topping up with water to the neck of the demijohn. Leave until fermentation has stopped and then rack again.
- Put aside for a couple of months and then rack again and bottle.
Makes around 1 gallon of wine. Generally, this is not a quick a quick wine. Usually, the flavours have developed after a year but it’s often better after 2 years.
Wikipedia: Yeast in Winemaking
LowCostLiving: Carrot Wine Recipe
WinemakerMagazine: Cleaning and Sanitizing: Techniques
Fellow Bloggers wrote about Winemaking:
Olive Tree by the Sea: When to harvest Grapes
Two Branches Homestead: Making Homemade Wine + Growing Grapes = Homestead Happiness
Please check out my new post on “Bee SelfCaring”: